The front door slams, jerking me to full awareness of my whisky hangover.
The place beside me is empty, the bedding cold. Angela’s suitcase and her yellow coat are gone.
How could I have been such a fool?
She had looked so lovely yesterday, blue eyes sparkling.
I lever myself out of bed, groan, pull on yesterday’s clothes. Perhaps I can catch her before she gets the bus to Manchester at 8 o’clock? The red roses I’d bought her reproach me from the floor.
Wincing, I jog; it’s the only way I’ll make it before she leaves. I take the stairs of an underpass two at a time, pounding feet offering a counterpoint to the litany of excuses in my aching head. Do I really fear commitment so much?
I barge through the crowds at the bus station.
07:59 A large man drops a large suitcase right in my path, and I stumble into it. “Oi! Watch where you’re going,” he snarls.
08:00 I look across the crush to the bay where her bus is waiting, and see a flash of yellow. She enters. The bus door closes and the bus starts to move.